Journal article

Flattening the curve is not enough, we need to squash it. An explainer using a simple model

Emma McBryde, Michael Meehan, James Trauer

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory | Published : 2020


Background: Around the world there are examples of both very good and effective control (e.g., South Korea, Japan) and slower, less aggressive control (e.g., Italy, Spain, United States) of COVID-19 with dramatic differences in the consequent epidemic curves. Models agree that flattening the curve without controlling the epidemic completely is insufficient and will lead to an overwhelmed health service. A recent model, calibrated for the UK and US, demonstrated this starkly. Methods: We used a simple compartmental deterministic model of COVID-19 transmission in Australia, to illustrate the dynamics resulting from shifting or flattening the curve versus completely squashing it. Results: We fi..

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